Mrs. Puff assigns SpongeBob's class an essay, which is on the topic of what not to do at a spotlight, has to be 800 words minimum, and is due tomorrow. One student (Acts like SpongeBob) is excited about this essay. He writes the first ten words, "What Not to do At A Spotlight By SpongeBob SquarePants," but after 2 hours, he can't seem to write anything else. He eventually starts fresh, and though it appears he writes a lot shortly afterwards, he only writes the word "The." With 799 words to go, SpongeBob tries to go further, but stays up to 10:00 p.m. He calls Patrick on the phone for advice, but he is too tired. SpongeBob then hallucinates that his house goes on fire because he can't write more. After this nightmare, he finally writes the essay in five minutes just before boating school starts by writing random things he does that night. Mrs. Puff tells SpongeBob that she tried to call him to tell him that she cancelled the essay and decided that she will take the class on a field trip to a stoplight, instead. SpongeBob rips his essay in half followed by himself, before fading to black.
A part where SpongeBob looks out the window, all his friends are there, and Patrick rubbing Sandy with Sun Lotion then says, "Come on, SpongeBob!"
This was removed due to it looking like Patrick was unhooking Sandy's bikini.
Removed on some airings for unknown reasons, though a live-action shot of a dragster crashing may have been the culprit, with Nick thinking kids might imitate the stunt.
A scene where a video of a drag race car crashing into a wall is shown.
Removed because Nickelodeon didn't want viewers to try racing a car.
All DVDs, 2002-2006 airings, and all July 24, 2012 onwards in Nickelodeon Philippines airings show these scenes. After October 2006, the scenes were edited out for commercials. All of these scenes are still available on VideoNow disks with this episode in it.
Early airings (Before October 2006, Version #1):
Patrick: Come on, SpongeBob! (SpongeBob goes back to his desk)
SpongeBob: It should be against the law to have to write an essay on such a super sailorific, sunshiny day! Oh! But I must press onward, because with this pencil, and the completion of this essay, I'll be one step closer to my driver's license! (a live-action drag race is shown. a car hits a wall, tumbles and gets back up) Oh, yeah. This'll be no problemo. I've got plenty of time. It's only 6:00 p.m.! Okay, okay here we go. (struggles to write) I know, I've got to get blood pumpin' in the own vessels. How about some calisthenics? (SpongeBob does calisthenics. While doing it, he recites Hup Hoo several times) I can feel those juices pumpin' now!
Some early airings (Before October 2006, Version #2):
Same as above, but SpongeBob excercising was removed.
Reruns (After October 2006):
SpongeBob: Gee, this is harder than I thought... (immediately cuts to him sitting happily in his chair) I can feel those juices pumpin' now! (The rest of the episode goes normally.)
9:35 am - SpongeBob arrives in Mrs. Puff's Boating School.
9:37 am - SpongeBob rips his essay and himself.
This episode is one of two episodes with a fan-famous deleted scene. The other episode was "Just One Bite." Both these scenes can still be seen on YTV.
This is first time SpongeBob is locked out of his house, though it was just in his nightmare.
The second was "Party Pooper Pants," where he locks himself out of his home during the party.
This is the first time SpongeBob chokes. In this episode, he chokes on pencil shavings, but his choking stops with a drink of water.
The second was "Karate Star," when he chokes on something else.
This is the first time SpongeBob's house talks or is set on fire.
A scene similar to this also happens in "Ghost Host," when his house starts burning and roars.
It also happens in "Pet Sitter Pat," when it shows SpongeBob's Pineapple on fire in his thought bubble after Grandma SquarePants mentions being in danger of burning down the house if she was not any older because of all the candles on her cake.
Unlike this, the house never roared.
The music from Nickelodeon's Hey Arnold! series was reused on the scene when SpongeBob looks out the window and see everyone having a good day.
When SpongeBob cleaned his kitchen, it turned chrome similar to how the future world looked in the Season 1 episode "SB-129."
In SpongeBob's kitchen fridge, he has:
Horse of the Sea
A Chinese takeout box
An ice cube tray
Two soda cans
One red, one green
One orange, one purple
One scene from this episode was shown in the R-rated comedy film Ted (2012).
It is unknown how SpongeBob managed to take hours only to write the word "The" on his paper.
Sandy and Squidward are not seen in this episode if you watch the edited version without the deleted scene.
The setting with Patrick and the phone was similar in design to Squidward's 3:00 A.M. joke to Patrick in "Graveyard Shift."
This episode probably took place before "Help Wanted" because SpongeBob went to boating school two days in a row, something never seen in any episode throughout this series. In "No Free Rides" SpongeBob states that he does boating tests on Tuesdays (probably after his workshift) and classes on Sundays when he usually does not have work.
The color for this episode and "I'm with Stupid" is different from any other episode. It appears less bright and more washed out in comparison to the rest of Season 2. This is due to being animated by a different studio.
This episode aired 5 years after Tiny Tim's death.
In SpongeBob's nightmare when he runs through a hall, and on the episode's title card background, there are deformed, melted and melting clocks.
This is a reference to The Peristance of Memory art.
As far as essays go, it's excessive that one about what not to do at a stoplight would require eight hundred words, especially when it is due the next day. Mrs. Puff also didn't give any time in class to write on the essay. It is also not required to take a field trip to a stoplight to learn what not to do at it. However, this is likely for added humor.
When SpongeBob wakes up from his nightmare and looks at the paper before looking at the clock, only the word "The" is shown and "What Not to do at a Spotlight by SpongeBob SquarePants" is missing from the top.
On his essay, SpongeBob misspelled Stoplight as Spotlight.
In reruns after October 2006, after SpongeBob said "Gee, this is harder than I thought," it cuts to him standing next to the chair. This is due to cutting out three scenes for commercial time.
When SpongeBob says "Rye or pumpernickel?" his eyelashes are missing.
On the April 21, 2014 airing, the episode was shortened again. After SpongeBob said "This essay is pure gold!," he was playing with the chair and making it squeak. Because, it was cut slightly for commerical time.
Before SpongeBob was locked out of his house, his mouth disappears for a split-second as the door slams shut.